Bergenia crassifolia

flowers
Common Name: pigsqueak 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Native Range: Northeastern Asia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Heavy Shade

Culture

Best grown in consistently moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates full shade. Also tolerates brief periods of drought, but foliage will suffer if soils are allowed to dry out. Plants are evergreen in the South but leaves usually suffer considerable winter damage in cold climates such as St. Louis. Remove all damaged foliage in late winter to early spring. Promptly remove spent flowering stems. Plants spread slowly by rhizomes. Propagate by seed or division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Bergenia crassifolia, commonly called leather bergenia or pig squeak, is a large-leaved evergreen perennial that is native to rocky cliffs from northwest China to Siberia. Rosettes of leathery, fine-toothed, obovate-rounded green leaves (to 8" long by 7" wide) form dense, slowly-spreading clumps of foliage to 12" tall. Lavender pink flowers bloom March to early May in panicles atop rigid leafless stalks rising to 18" tall. Flowers will bloom as early as December in warm winter climates, hence the additional common name of winter blooming bergenia. Although evergreen, the leaves of this plant often become brown and battered in cold winter temperatures.

Genus name honors Karl August von Bergen (1704-1759), German physician and botanist.

The specific epithet comes from the Latin words crassus meaning thick and folia meaning leaf in reference to the leathery leaves.

The common name of pig squeak is in reference to the noise produced by rubbing a leaf between thumb and finger.

Genus name honors German physician and botanist Karl August von Bergen (1704-1759).

The specific epithet comes from the Latin words crassus meaning thick and folia meaning leaf in reference to the leathery leaves.

The common name of pig squeak is in reference to the noise produced by rubbing a leaf between thumb and finger.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Shaded or sun-dappled areas of border fronts. Large-leaved ground cover for woodland or shade gardens. Edging for paths and walkways. Water margins. Foliage may be used in floral arrangements.